It is STILL difficult for me to find that “perfect” time to exercise even though my son is now a toddler. I still remember those early days when he ate, slept, peed and pooped on a completely unpredictable schedule that – of course – left me completely exhausted. Exercise was not on my agenda at all at that time. But as that baby grew older, his schedule became more predictable, and at some point, he actually slept through the night. So, I started to think about getting into a better exercise regimen.
A few years later, I’m still struggling, but I’m much better.
For me, the issue has been that all of the ideal times for me to work out these days – early morning, nap time, or when my son goes to bed – are my LEAST favorite times to get my sweat on. I truly prefer to workout around lunchtime, and unfortunately, my job’s gym leaves much to be desired. Further, I am not an early riser. I truly commend the moms that get up at 5 a.m. to exercise. When my son naps, I want to nap, too. (Toddlers are exhausting!) As the kicker, these days my son goes to bed fairly late, and I’m not a huge fan of late-night workouts because they interfere with my sleep.
I had to come up with a solution to this conundrum:
1. I stopped making excuses.
At bottom, everything you just read in the last paragraph is an excuse. There is no “perfect” time to work out. Exercising is a form of self-care that must be done.
2. I took advantage of my son’s nap time, finally.
I decided that even though I’m often tired right along with my son at nap time, it remained the best time for me to exercise. This involved ignoring that pull to the couch and realizing I would feel much better after a sweat – and I always do!
3. I let go of perfection.
Before becoming a mom, I had all day to plan my workouts, what I was going to do, how long it was going to be, and when I would do it. I even worked out with friends, which was so much fun! (I miss those days!) Clearly, as a working mom, my time and brain space are limited, so I had to decide to just do the best with the time (and energy) I had. It was good enough to be getting a work out in at all. I use the Peloton app, search for workouts on Pinterest and sometimes I just wing it!
4. I got creative with my workouts.
I realized that some days my workouts might just consist of a 30-minute walk at lunch and that’s OK. Prior, I would agonize over the fact that I wasn’t able to lift weights for 20 minutes or get enough cardio in. I also decided that some days I might have to divvy up my work out over the course of a day: 20 minutes of cardio in the morning followed by 20 minutes of weights at nap time. This still counts even though it’s not in one session.
I encourage all of us to find that time to get our sweat on any way we can! What tips do you have for sneaking in workouts as a busy mom?